homeschool english review

Homeschool English Review – What Have We Used?

I have used literature based programs in the following ways.

1.Learning Language Arts Through Literature. I did like the original version but the workbook style was not as good. When we hit fifth grade (I think) the books and poems were all very American including the Star Spangled Banner (that is the year they study American history, I believe) which is great for Americans but I wanted a little more Australian content. I used the 6th grade text for a while. It was OK.

2.We also tried Writing Strands (10 years old at the time) initially I thought it was good but then my son was always doing a shoddy job so I shelved it – then sold it.

3.One year I totally took a year off all language curriculum (10 and 11 year olds). We just used narrations and story writing for a whole year. We were working through Diana Waring’s Roman Reformers and Revolutionaries  and I got the kids to do a biography on different people every day.

4.Another term I did a literature study from Currclick on Prince Caspian. It was when the movie was coming out. That year I also read The Little Grammar People by Nuri Mass and we read through a book on grammar.

5. For about 12 months we did dictation and copywork everyday using the Charlotte Mason Method. For the younger ones I still do daily copywork and dictation as it arises in Emma Serl’s Primary Language Lessons.

Emma Serl Language Lessons

5.We started the year with a combination of dictation and Wordsmith and Emma Serl’s Intermediate Language Lessons. This has a nice mix.

Emma Serl Language Lessons
6. I’ve just added novel study guide to this term which is excellent.
Novel Study Guide
We have toyed with other things but those are the main ones.My older kids have scored highly Year 5, 6 and 7 NSW University English Tests (top 15%-8%) in the last two years.

Update  Homeschool English Reviews 2014

(Those same two children are now at university and coping very well with the expectations of writing for university.)

Now I can add a few more Homeschool English Reviews to the list.

7. Spelling Wisdom by Simply Charlotte Mason. I’ve used the first two books for my kids. I find it very good.

8. Phontastic Spelling by Education Reformation. A good phonics workbook that the kids can work through independently. For 10 years and up.

9. Bob Jones University Fundamentals of Literature and Elements of Literature. Brilliant for Year 9 and Year 10. The British Literature one that follows wasn’t a hit as it was like a theological study of writings from British history. If you’ve read English Literature for Young People by HE Marshall then you have already covered most of the content.

10. I know I mentioned it before but the Wordsmith Series. Apprentice & Craftsman have also been good.

One more comment about Institute of Excellence in Writing (IEW), we have seen the teaching video set and that’s all. It gave me the tools I needed to explain to the kids how to write. I haven’t used any more of their stuff. I toyed with the Elegant Essay but I found Wordsmith Craftsman to be quite similar.

So juggling has worked for us. Can it work for you!
Smiles Michelle